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County is a royal favourite

Councillor Kay Cutts, leader of Nottinghamshire County Council
Councillor Kay Cutts, leader of Nottinghamshire County Council

With the royal wedding now less than a month away, many county residents will be watching Prince Harry and Meghan tie the knot on TV or may be planning their own street parties on May 19.

The county has certainly played its part in the countdown to the big day as the couple chose to visit Nottingham shortly after announcing their engagement.

This was very fitting given that Nottinghamshire has always been a popular choice for royal visitors.

This dates back to when Edward I spent a night at the original Rufford Abbey (pictured), following the footsteps of other royals including James I, Charles I and George IV.

Edward VII also stayed several times at Rufford before and after his accession to the throne.

And these royal links are even more evident when you delve into Nottinghamshire’s 1973-1993 civic signature book.

A fascinating record of visitors to the county over the years, it contains signatures from attendees of civic functions and several members of the royal family, including Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip as part of their silver jubilee visit in 1977.

However after decades of wear and tear, the binding on the book had split, so the archives conservation unit has carefully repaired the spine and cleaned the book’s solid silver covers.

The book was originally bound in a delicate leather as a sign of its importance.

The newly-repaired book was presented back to Coun John Handley, the council chairman, at an event at the Nottinghamshire Archives.

The book contains many historical gems, such as a letter sent on behalf of the Queen in 1977 in which she describes a firework display at County Hall as ‘the best she had seen for some time’.

We hope that Prince Harry and Meghan will return to the county after they are married and come and sign the current civic signature book at County Hall, so that signatures from the young generation of royals can be preserved and cherished for the future.